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UT Unveils State's Largest Pedestrian Bridge

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

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Earlier this month, Utah officials unveiled what its touting as the largest pedestrian bridge in the state. Measuring more than three football fields at 1,000 feet long and 15 feet wide, the bridge serves to connect the Utah Valley University campus with the Utah FrontRunner Orem Central Station.

According to reports, the $30.7 million bridge was built through a partnership with UVU, the state’s Department of Transportation, the Utah Transit Authority, Orem City and state legislature.

“This bridge is a one-of-a-kind triumph,” UVU Vice President of Finance and Administration Val Peterson said. “Its construction began with a question—how we can safely connect pedestrians on one side of our campus with the other— and the larger question of how to more easily connect the community with UVU. I believe we have done just that.”

For the project, officials selected Kraemer North America as the general contractor, while Salt Lake-based WSP was selected as the design and engineering firm. Architectural services were provided by Method Studio.

The pedestrian bridge was constructed using 15,000 square feet of heated concrete, which intends to melt snow and ice during the winter months. The structure also features a full coverage roof, and its walkway is lined with 125 lights and 18 security cameras to ensure a safe commute for traveling students.

It’s estimated that the bridge will serve an average of more than 5,000 users a day.

“It’s not often you see a bridge of this size built just for pedestrians and bicyclists,” said Teri Newell, Deputy Director for UDOT. “At UDOT our goal is to provide diverse choices for how and when you travel. This kind of investment in active transportation is another example of how UDOT is focused on keeping people moving.”

Although a ribbon ceremony was held for the opening of the bridge, crews are continuing to put finishing touches on the structure over the next few weeks. The bridge is expected to open to the public in early February.

Other Pedestrian Bridge Projects

On the research side of things, earlier this month civil engineers from the Cork Institute of Technology are planning to recycle wind turbines blades for a future pedestrian bridge. The bridge is slated to be installed on a bicycle route connecting the towns of Youghal and Middletown.

To kick off the project, last month three 40-foot-long wind turbine blades were delivered by truck to CIT. At the institute, the blades are scheduled to undergo a series of tests which are expected to last a few months. Through design and build efforts, the team hopes to find a way to use the wind blades as a replacement of traditional steel girders found in bridges.

In March 2019, a wholesale mortgage lending company based out of Pontiac, Michigan, announced its plans to build an enclosed pedestrian bridge between two buildings on its 1.5 million square-foot campus. The endeavor is slated to become the longest enclosed skywalk in the United States.

Located off the South Boulevard, United Shore intends to have a pedestrian bridge built, totaling 1,000 feet long. Previously, the firm had its former Hewlett Packard building renovated for $85 million.

In May, the longest suspension pedestrian bridge in the U.S., located in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, was set to open, running 680 feet across a valley in the Great Smoky Mountains. The ground falls away 140 feet below, roughly around the structure’s midpoint.

The structure was dubbed the SkyBridge, which belongs to Skylift Park, and was designed and installed by ERi (Dayton, Ohio) for Boyne USA (Boyne Falls, Michigan).

At the beginning of that same year, the world’s longest 3D-printed concrete pedestrian bridge was completed in Shanghai’s Wisdom Bay Industrial Park, a project designed and developed by professor Xu Weiguo, from Tsinghua University (School of Architecture)—Zoina Land Joint Research Center for Digital Architecture.

The 26.3-meter-long (86.2-foot-long), 3.6-meter-wide bridge, built in collaboration with Shanghai Wisdom Bay Investment Management Company, was inspired by the ancient Anji Bridge in Zhaoxian, China.


Tagged categories: Bridges; Bridges; Completed projects; Department of Transportation (DOT); Infrastructure; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Project Management

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